Archive - 2011 - News Article
With more high winds forecast this week, firefighters remain in Big Pine monitoring the burn area left by the Center Fire that destroyed 19 homes on Friday.
CalFire investigators are also on scene, assessing damages, the path of destruction and the blazeâs point of origin near the Bernasconi Education Center as they determine a cause.
âThe fire was called at 100 percent contained at 18:00 (6 p.m.) Sunday, but we still have resources on scene mopping up and looking for hot spots,â said CalFire Battalion Chief Mike Smith.
Sheâs been called dynamic, determined, gracious, fierce, compassionate, resourceful, even rebellious.
Sheâs been labeled a firebrand, a trailblazer, a pioneer, an activist, a do-gooder and a go-getter.
At heart, sheâs a devoted wife, mother and grandmother, and by trade a retired laboratory technologist and politician.
In reality, Bishop resident Betty Denton is a woman who defies description; someone whoâs spent a life pursuing myriad dreams and goals, helping others to achieve theirs, and affecting lasting change for the good of the community.
Just days after the Center Fire in Big Pine destroyed 19 homes, the community and local service agencies are stepping up to provide aid to those displaced. Preliminary estimates put the damage caused by the blaze at more than $4.5 million.
There are also reports of the amazing community tenor of the tiny town.
âItâs worth emphasizing the supportive community spirit,â said Mary Chasin, Red Cross supervisor of Health Services for the Los Angeles region. âItâs never easy after a disaster but this community is very resilient.â
While many residents were able to return to their homes in Big Pine Saturday morning, the homecoming was bittersweet as some found they had no homes to return to, their residences and worldly possessions destroyed during the night by the 800-acre Center Fire.
A total of 19 homes were destroyed in the fire, which broke out at about 3:30 p.m. Friday near the Bernasconi Center west of town. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Preliminary estimates put the cost of damages from the fire at $4.5 million.
A fire that broke out west of Big Pine prompted wide-spread mandatory evacuation orders Friday evening.
Details on the movement of the fire are scarce. The blaze was first reported shortly before 4 p.m. California Highway Patrol officers at the scene at about 5 p.m. reported that the Bernasconi Center had not been damaged, but a wood shed at Palisade Glacier High School had been burned.
By 6 p.m. Friday, U.S. 395 was closed from Bishop to Independence with reports of the fire threatening to jump County Road west of the highway.
Increasing concern about Japanâs unfolding nuclear disaster has reached the Eastern Sierra.
However, concerns about potential impacts from a nuclear meltdown 5,000 miles away are, at least for the time being, unwarranted.
While the situation in Japan is constantly changing, Inyo-Mono Public Health Officer Dr. Rick Johnson, said that there is still no threat to those living in Inyo or Mono counties. Johnson is offering advice on what local citizens can do as well as putting the situation into perspective.
Ten years after its formation, Eastern Sierra Land Trust is celebrating both its birthday and national accreditation.
With a seal of approval from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, Eastern Sierra Land Trust hopes it can gain more credibility with grant providers and potential land owners and members.
The third time appears to be the charm for Inyo National Forest, which announced last week that Ed Armenta of Arizona is slated to become its next head honcho.
Armenta, currently the district ranger of the Payson District of the Tonto National Forest, will be the third Forest Service employee to step into the forest supervisor post vacated by Jim Upchurch in September 2010.
Upchurch transferred to Coronado National Forest and two temporary replacements had filled the position until a permanent replacement â Armenta â could be named.
With the Southern Inyo Early Opener Trout Derby in the books, anglersâ attention has now turned to the Eastern Sierraâs other major pre-season fishing tradition: The Blake Jones Trout Derby.
Named for a beloved longtime local resident and angling promoter, the annual derby returns this Saturday to Pleasant Valley Reservoir, where the Bishop Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau gives fishermen yet another chance to compete for cash, prizes and bragging rights â or simply gather the family to cast a line in prime Eastern Sierra waters â well in advance of the regular fishing season.
Inyo County Integrated Waste is facing a half-million dollar operating deficit this year and is looking for residents to help decide how to solve the budget shortfall.
During an almost empty public meeting in Lone Pine on Wednesday, Jeff Ahlstrom, managing landfill engineer, laid out six plans that would close the projected $592,874 gap. Those plans include three basic strategies to save on costs and generate more revenue, ranging from fee hikes to layoffs to reductions in services.